Countertops. One of the buzziest topics in the design industry. Options can feel endless and the pros and cons of each can make it really difficult for the average consumer to choose a product right for them. Fortunately, we are here to help! We will walk you through products, prices, and pros and cons of each. Plus, we have all of the inside scoop on the appropriate thickness and edging. At the end of this article, we have full confidence that you will be able to choose the appropriate material, thickness, and edge style to create the countertops of your dreams.
At EPPI, we opt for Calacatta marble. Calacatta is a natural stone which offers a whiter surface and more dramatic veining. You can also find it in more gray and beige tones. Statuary marble is also fabulous, however it has a more limited color variety, with the majority of it being a white surface with gray veining.
Marble is susceptible to staining and etching. We normally get most of our marble countertops “bullet proof”, which keeps the risk of stain very low. This is done at the fabricator and needs to be requested.
This brings us to cost. We are looking at $60-$100 per square foot NOT including fabrication. Fabrication, depending on what you need, can cost as much as material, no matter what type of countertop stone you are working with.
Quartz is a man made stone. Manufacturers mix crushed quartz crystals with polymer resin which helps create the form. Because it is man made, there are far more options in terms of customization.
Quartz is far more durable than marble, being a little harder and far more stain resistant. However it is not heat resistant and it is also only graded for indoor use. As of recently, more quartz manufacturers are creating lines for outdoor use, but you definitely want to make sure before placing any natural or man made stone outdoors!
Because there is so much variety within the manufacturing of quartz, the price can range dramatically. You could be looking at $35 per square foot up to $200 per square foot.
Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that’s formed when sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure beneath the earth’s crust. Countertops made from quartzite have a glassy appearance and will feature natural veining, closely resembling marble. You’ll mostly find quartzite in white and gray tones, but other color variations are possible due to the presence of minerals, such as iron, within the stone.
Like marble, quartzite is porous and needs to be sealed 1-2 times a year. In terms of cost, quartzite countertops can run between $65-$85 per square foot, with the more exotic options getting into the $200 range.
The industry standard for countertops in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of the house is 1.25” or known as 3cm industry-wide. However if you are going to be wanting a specialty edge on your countertop then you would need to increase the countertop thickness to 2-2.5”(5cm industry-wide) by laminating or mitering.
Once you have picked the perfect countertop material you can now decide on what type of edge you would like. Below are the different types of edges and their most common name:
There are also quarter-round edges, double quarter-round edges, double beveled, mitered drop apron, double ogee, triple pencil edge, and rock face or chiseled edge.
This is A LOT of information. At the end of the day we want to be your guide to answer ALL of your questions regarding countertops because we know there’s a lot. Between the range of materials, pricing, quantity and fabrications that can affect all of the above, it’s hard to know where to start. Hopefully your new countertop cheat sheet will ease this process and make it just a tad more stress-free and a lot more fun!